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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – A national study released today shows that Texas ranks 12th in the nation in terms of obesity and local health officials say more needs to be done to turn it around.
Trust for America’s Health, a non-profit organization prepared the report using information that was reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The percentage of obese adults increased in 16 states since last year and didn’t decline in any state, according to the report.
“I believe it” says Dr. Folashade Lester with the Diabetes Health and Wellness Institute at Juanita J. Craft Recreation Center in South Dallas. Dr. Lester says she’s surprised Texas didn’t make it up higher on the list.
Baylor University Medical Center executives say they opened the clinic in the Frazier neighborhood of Dallas because residents have the highest rates of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer and stroke in the city.
“We’re trying to get people moving. We’re trying to get people to understand that it doesn’t have to be, because our mother was a little heavier or because we were heavy before, it’s just a part of getting older, all the misconceptions about why we are heavy and why we can’t get better” says Dr. Lester.
Beginning on July 15th executives with the Diabetes Health and Wellness Institute will begin enrolling qualified children in a one-year study called The Medicaid Childhood Pre-Obesity Program funded primarily by the State of Texas. More than 200 children who are not obese, but who are at risk of becoming obese, will be assessed and steered toward a healthy lifestyle.
“We know we need to infiltrate the whole family and it has to start with the children” says Esteria Miller, Director of Business Development for the DHWI. “Children tend to have an effect on the families and can kind of help move the needle, especially with the mom” she adds. The program will focus on children six to 11 years of age and their siblings. Those who don’t qualify for the program will be asked to join program for obese children called Total Recreation, which also takes place at the Juanita Craft Recreation Center.